Archive for the ‘New Zealand government’ Category

Crowdfunding changes get official go-ahead from government

Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Photo credit; on Flickr

Photo credit; on Flickr

Crowdfunding will be much easier in New Zealand as of April 1, paving the way for platforms like Snowball Effect.

Cabinet gave its approval for new crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending regulations Feb. 27 as part of the Financial Markets Conduct Act.

Up until the change companies have needed to issue a prospectus or investment statement before raising money from the public in New Zealand, making it cost prohibitive.

Foss said there would be no investor caps for equity crowd-funding but companies would be limited to raising $2 million a year.

Crowd funding raises money online through a large group of people investing small amounts of money in exchange for a share in that company.

Foss said the law change was an exciting development for both start-up businesses and investors.

“With the regulations coming into force on 1 April, New Zealand will lead the Asia-Pacific region is the development of crowd-funding regulation.”

Simeon Burnett a director of soon-to-launch equity crowd funding provider Snowball Effect welcomed the new rules and said the decision not to cap how much investors can put in was good news.

“We opposed the introduction of investor caps, because we believed that investors would easily be able to circumvent such controls by investing in foreign crowd funding platforms, or investing through entities which do not reveal the ultimate owner.

“We also believe that individuals should be allowed to make their own decisions about their money.”

To read more about this story, click here.

Snowball Effect to launch in April in New Zealand

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

New Zealand crowdfunding startup The Snowball Effect is gaining momentum and is ready to launch this April.

The company, founded by Simeon Burnett, Richard Allen and Francis Reid of Auckland is an equity crowdfunding platform, meaning investors give a business a small amount of money in return for shares in the company.

It will be legal in New Zealand from April when a change to the Financial Markets Conduct Act means anyone can raise up to $2 million without needing a formal prospectus.

The trio, along with full-time employee Josh Daniell, have been researching and building the company, with interested investors and businesses lined up for the launch.

The Snowball Effect hopes to have “couple of thousand” investors and fund 10 businesses by the year’s end.

Burnett says the crowdfunding platform will help businesses gain easier access to capital, including from New Zealanders living overseas.

To read more about this story, click here.

New Zealand ranked third easiest country to do business

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Photo credit; Yasuhiro Chatani on Flickr

Photo credit; Yasuhiro Chatani on Flickr

The World Bank continues to rate New Zealand the third-best country in the world to run a small or medium-size business, after Singapore and Hong Kong.

The bank’s Doing Business 2014 report on 189 economies also continues to rate New Zealand as the best country to start a business and protect investors.

But since the 2013 survey, New Zealand has slipped a ranking to 12th for dealing with construction permits and two rankings to 23 in terms of paying taxes and to 21 for trading across borders.

The report says governments around the world stepped up their pace of improving business regulations in 114 economies last year – an 18 per cent jump from the previous year.

The report says that if economies around the world were to follow best practices in regulatory processes for starting a business, entrepreneurs would spend 45 million fewer days each year satisfying bureaucratic requirements.

“A better business climate that enables entrepreneurs to build their businesses and reinvest in their communities is key to local and global economic growth,” said World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim.

To read more on this story, click here.

Government to aid New Zealand tech firms in entering global markets

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
Photo credit; Walknboston on Flickr

Photo credit; Walknboston on Flickr

The New Zealand government aims to assist Kiwi tech companies grow and compete in the global market by investing more than NZ$3 million over the next three years to take advantage of the opportunity created by the global boom in demand for digital technologies, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said recently.

“The digital economy contributed over NZ$2 billion  in export earnings last year, and exports of computer and information services have grown at over 10 percent per annum between 2002 and 2012. Almost 75 percent of revenue from the New Zealand’s top 100 tech companies comes from international markets,” Joyce said in a statement.

“More than 62,000 people are already employed in our wider ICT sector and our investment will help create significant additional export revenues over the next four years.”

The Digital Technology High Impact Program would target support to firms working in the areas of software as a service (SAAS), web services, software development, gaming development, post production, animation and mobile technology.

Joyce also announced new repayable government grants of up to NZ$450,000  per company would be invested in start-up technology companies.

To read more about this story, click here.

Change in New Zealand law to pave way for new crowdfunding model

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

With Kickstarter set to launch in New Zealand this month, crowdfunding has taken off in the island nation. But a law change next year will allow for the start of a new type of crowdfunding, and New Zealand’s Snowball Effect aims to take advantage.

Unlike crowdfunding platforms like the aforementioned Kickstarter and New Zealand’s PledgeMe, which merely allow people to make a contribution to a project, Snowball Effect will actually allow contributors to gain a stake in a business they contribute to, much like owning stock.

Snowball Effect is set to launch in April of 2014, the same time the law change will come into effect. The law will make it legal to offer equity for capital through crowdfunding.

When the system is live, a company would be able to approach Snowball Effect and raise capital through the platform from members of the public, who in return take a stake in the business.

Led by directors Richard Allen and Simeon Burnett, Snowball Effect is touted as a system would reduce the cost and complexity of raising capital and would let New Zealanders easily invest in small businesses.

“What this is about is opening up and liberating and democratising the whole investment process,” Burnett says.

“One thing which has really come through strongly in the work that we’ve done is Kiwis love the idea of being able to back New Zealand businesses. They’re hugely passionate about that. So this is opening up an opportunity for New Zealanders to absolutely get in there and support businesses they like the look of.”

To read more on this story, click here.

True Kiwi domain name tentatively set to launch near end of year

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

The Kiwiest of domain names is getting ready to take flight in December and it’s the Kiwiest because it is literally .kiwi.

Christchurch-born Tim Johnson, head of Dot Kiwi, first had the idea for the domain name about two-and-a-half years ago.

When .kiwi launches – hopefully in December – it will be the first top level domain outside of to get approval from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers with a truly Kiwi feel.

“Running a new domain name is a really big responsibility, we had to meet a lot of criteria,” Johnson says.

For about $39 businesses and individuals will be able to claim email addresses and websites with .kiwi instead of

A percentage of Dot Kiwi’s revenue from the sale of .kiwi domains will be donated to the Dot Kiwi Christchurch Trust.

Johnson, a marketing executive, said Dot Kiwi was born from a desire to set up a company that would have the longevity to pump funds into the local community.

To read more on this story, click here.

New Zealand ranks first as fastest startup place

Monday, October 7th, 2013

A report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) has indicated that New Zealand ranks first out of 146 countries for the fastest time it takes to establish a company.

Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

According to WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 published on September 3, the period of time required to start a business is shortest in New Zealand, where only a single day is needed.

New Zealand is followed by Australia, Georgia, Macedonia and Hong Kong with the fastest processes and procedures to found a company.

According to WEF’s research, the worst-ranked country in terms of the time required to start a business is Suriname, where the process requires 694 days, or almost two years.

Other countries which rank low in startup times include: Brunei Darussalam, Haiti, Brazil and Venezuela.

To read more on this story, click here.

New Zealand tech company makes jump to USA, ready to crack American market

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Photo credit; Jeff Gunn on Flickr

Photo credit; Jeff Gunn on Flickr

New Zealand company Mako Networks, which helps businesses protect themselves from cybercrime, has opened an office in San Francisco and is ready to take a run at the American market.

The international expansion for the Auckland-headquartered company is largely due to research and development grants from the government, as well as the government-sponsored Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco, which helps Kiwi tech companies get a foothold in the USA.

“The Kiwi Landing Pad has served as a great base to help us get established here in North America,” said Simon Gamble, Mako’s co-founder and president for North America, adding that in its 18 months at the site, the firm had managed to secure US clients during that time and was now ‘graduating’ into its own office.

“We have significant plans for the US market and this new office is a pleasing milestone for us.”

Mako, which was started out in 2000 as YellowTuna Networks, offers cloud-based network management and security systems for companies that process credit cards.

To read more on this story, click here.

New program will teach New Zealand businesses how to better harness the power of the internet

Friday, August 30th, 2013

A Digital Enablement Training program will be rolled out across New Zealand in the coming months to help small businesses take advantage of the Government’s ultra-fast broadband (UFB) and rural broadband (RBI) programs.

The program will include workshops on how UFB, RBI and other new technologies will impact on companies and identifies the opportunities it presents.

“The internet is a strong and growing marketplace,” Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams said when announcing the program. “Faster broadband can deliver greater productivity and lower costs, but small businesses need to know how to use it to maximum effect.

“Fast broadband enables businesses to connect easily to the world, and our investment in broadband will support innovation, high-tech jobs, and grow productivity.

“The Digital Enablement Training program will help these businesses understand the benefits that UFB, RBI and ICT services can bring, and help them make more sophisticated use of the tools and services available.”

The program has been supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and will be available through the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Regional Business Partner Network around New Zealand.

Adams said although nearly two million New Zealanders want to buy online, only 64 per cent of small businesses have a website and only 11 per cent offer customers the ability to pay online.

To read more on this story, click here.

New Zealand websites slow to respond to industrialised hacking

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

New Zealand businesses have been sluggish in responding to automated cyber attacks, leaving businesses of all sizes vulnerable, cyber security experts have said.

Modern hacking tools mean that cyber criminals can quickly and easily scan the internet for vulnerable websites and launch attacks and New Zealand is becoming a prime target, Mark Kraynak, senior vice president of US- headquartered data security company Imperva, said.

“Now that the bad guys can find anyone online, [things have] changed. They’ve figured out that the little guys are actually pretty good targets,” Kraynak said.

“It’s probably true that criminals weren’t paying much attention to New Zealand but it’s become easier for organisations to find places to attack here.”

Kraynak claims data attacks in New Zealand are ten times higher than in Australia, on a per capita basis and businesses from the largest banks down to the smallest online retailers are at risk because while other countries were diligent about beefing up online security, New Zealand lagged behind.

To read more on this story, click here.